The Quote That Will Change Your Financial Life Forever.

The Quote That Will Change Your Financial Life Forever.

“Income makes you live better.

Savings makes you sleep better.

Wealth makes you retire better.”

— David Johnson


Seems simple. Make more money, save some here and there, then retire in your 50’s on that 401k that your company offers. They even match your contributions! (There’s a limit though — you should have read that fine print paragraph at the bottom of the contract.)

Most people that are my age were told that it would be easy all of their lives if they just got that degree. Your college counselors most likely told you to put your head down, go to college and get that job and shoot for 100k a year! You watched all of those people buy nice cars and houses while you grew up. Everyone had name-brand clothes. The American dream was right there, and you could have it by graduating…right?


It’s hard. Really freaking hard. If you want the new “American Dream” that was sold to you all of your life you will have to sacrifice, be labeled as “cheap”, and be jealous of everyone else’s nice crap for a long time. Those people in the above paragraph? Their house was foreclosed on a few years ago. The cars were leased. The clothes were on a credit card. The things you grew up with were a mirage. If people my age should have learned anything from growing up in America, it’s this:

Credit is one heck of a drug.

There is a lot more to the above quote than meets the usual financed set of American eyes. Every sentence will take a lifetime of difficult choices, hard work, and sacrifice.

“Income makes you live better.”

In our current version of America, you have to make more money if you want a higher quality of life. You will hear people (usually non-wealthy) disagree with me and say things like: family is all that mattersmoney isn’t everything, etc. I would agree if it didn’t cost a ton of money nowadays to even make a family. Someone has to pay the medical bills after you have a kid. And, if you think insurance will do it…someone has to pay for the insurance too. (Someone = you).

See what I mean? If you think money isn’t everything, try paying for stuff with something else and see how that goes.

I would imagine that you are pretty smart if you are reading this, and you probably have a ton of skills. The challenging part is that you have to figure out how to monetize them. If you have a decent paying job you should work hard and be good at it. Then, when you have some time off, find other things you can do to make money and work hard at those things too. After that, you can invest your money in any number of ways and make your extra money work for you.

 Find creative ways to increase your income. If you think you don’t have enough time to do it, stop complaining and make more time. This is still a concept that I am working on, but I guarantee that I am working hard at it. Making more money will make you live better.

“Savings makes you sleep better.”

This is just flat-out true. If you become proficient at saving your money, you will never go to sleep worrying about bills or potential emergencies that require more cash than you have. Sit down, look at your finances, and see how much you can currently put away. Then, cut out a bunch of expenses that you can live without and put even more money away. If you want to get really intense, start doing things like washing your shoes in the washing machine for 3 years to avoid buying a new pair.

Yes. I washed my shoes. I sleep REALLY well at night.

Don’t mistake me for saying that you should just let that money sit in some low yield savings account and effectively do nothing. The beauty of saving money is that you are actually protecting it from stupid “investments” like new cars, expensive clothes, or a house that you can’t afford. The money that you learn how to save can be used for smart investments like real estate or equities.

Do everything you can to not act like the people you grew up watching. They were all wrong. They wasted their money and took on crippling debt. Those people are financially screwed now, and would probably advise you to handle your finances the way that I am telling you to. I promise you that learning how to save is really fulfilling and becomes fun the more you do it. I would venture to guess that I feel better putting money in my bank account than you do paying your car payment.

“Wealth makes you retire better.”

Every Millennial should have this screaming in the back of their mind for the next 30 years. Eventually, you will make it to “retirement age” and be tired of working. If you still like working, the unfortunate reality is that our bodies won’t allow us to work someday. The actions that you take now will determine how well you are able to retire.

When you retire, you will most likely look back on your life and ask yourself questions like these:

  • Did you do everything possible to increase your income during your working years?
  • After you increased your income, did you spend it all to keep up with the broke Joneses or did you put a good amount away?
  • Even better, did you do things like pay off your student debt early and aggressively invest part of your savings every year?

If you are able to eventually answer yes, I’ll bet that you don’t run out of money during retirement. More importantly, you will be able to pass on the gift of wealth to your kids and help them live better like you were able to do.

Live differently. Your bank accounts will thank me later. ~M$M


Just in case you were wondering — David Johnson is one of my financial mentors and a great friend that I am lucky to have met in the past few years. I’d like to give a special shout out to him for not only teaching me this quote, but for sharing many other great financial and life lessons with a young know-it-all like me! If you would like some advice on the importance of financial mentors read my previous blog post here.

Don't miss another M$M post.

Sign up for the M$M newsletter to get new posts sent directly to your inbox when they go up on the site. As a bonus - I'll send you reviews of my favorite free personal finance tools and ways to make extra money with a side hustle!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

18 comments… add one
  • J. Money Feb 27, 2015, 8:17 pm


    And first time on your blog – will def. be back 🙂

    (My friend Cait from forwarded me to you)

    • Millennial Money Man Feb 28, 2015, 4:40 am

      Thank you! I’m a big fan of your website, glad you stopped by!!

  • Kalie Mar 2, 2015, 1:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing the quote and peeling back the nightmare underneath the version of the American Dream we saw growing up. It is really freeing to realize it’s not working for a bunch of stuff that you can’t really afford and won’t make you truly happy. I believe contentment is the real key to financial peace of mind. If you can be happy with what you have, you can probably live below your means and meet the goals of saving and investing. Contentment doesn’t mean complacency. Earning more income can help, but it isn’t the only way to improve your life.

    • Millennial Money Man Mar 3, 2015, 12:33 am

      No problem! I agree; earning more income is only useful to your quality of life if you manage it correctly. Thanks for reading!!

  • David Mar 2, 2015, 1:44 pm

    Outstanding! !! I wish there was a way to force everyone to read this, it could change the course of history. I will do my part and share this on my blog.


    • Millennial Money Man Mar 3, 2015, 12:32 am

      Thanks for the share David! I always wonder how different things would be if Americans weren’t so quick to make poor financial decisions…

  • Adam @ Mar 3, 2015, 5:02 am

    Definitely helps me sleep better. Congrats on making it on Rockstar.

    • Millennial Money Man Mar 4, 2015, 12:31 am

      Thanks! It definitely helped my site traffic….

  • Abigail @ipickuppennies Mar 3, 2015, 5:13 pm

    It’s definitely true that most people in the last two decades were sold a lie. Unintentionally, but a lie nonetheless.

    I was in college during the tech boom, so a lot of people in computer science and business/marketing were able to easily find high-paying jobs. Then the bottom fell out, and people lost their jobs. They weren’t saving, and they were terrified.

    And in the past decade, kids went to college, sure that they could find jobs that would allow them to pay off their loans — even the ones that didn’t shoot for $100,000/year. I feel awful for them, but I do hope that this causes us to reexamine our approach to student loan debt and, perhaps more importantly, how/why we let tuition get so crazy. Harvard now costs about 90% more than what it did back in the old days of 1996. Ninety percent in 18 years is insane.

    • Millennial Money Man Mar 4, 2015, 12:34 am

      Abigail – you nailed it. I really think that the student loan debt problem will be similar to the housing bust for my generation. However, I don’t think it will be so much of a bubble popping, but more of a drain on the economy when those people start to finance houses, cars, and have kids…all while trying to make a huge loan payment every month.

  • FI Investor Mar 3, 2015, 6:52 pm

    Great information! I happen to agree with 100% of this article and wish someone would have shown it to me when I was 19 and buying my first vehicle with none other than a car loan cause I didn’t have the money. Now I’m 27 and putting as much as I possibly can to build my wealth for the future.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Millennial Money Man Mar 4, 2015, 12:34 am

      Thanks!! 27 is still very young – sounds like you are making great decisions for your future.

  • Hayley @ Disease Called Debt Mar 10, 2015, 12:52 pm

    I’ve made a lot of financial mistakes in the past by simply not paying attention to two key elements within this quote – savings and wealth. It’s only now with my debts finally paid off that I can look to the future and I have a lot of lost time to make up for! I happen to love what I do for a living now and I hope that I will still want to voluntarily work when I reach retirement age. But as you say, our bodies won’t allow us to do so forever and we need to plan for our retirement income right now so that we don’t have any financial regrets during the latter stages of our lives.

  • Chris Apr 7, 2015, 7:32 pm


    I spent some time going through a lot of your posts and you are awesome! Thanks for the good reads and I look forward to reading what you put out next!

  • Matt Nov 17, 2016, 10:27 pm

    Hey man, I love your site. You actually encouraged me to start my own to target money tips for college students. Would be awesome if you checked it out! 🙂

Leave a Comment